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Category archives for: Eighth Amendment

Ousted In Cop Case, Prosecutor Who Won’t Seek Death Penalty Challenges Scott

| March 21, 2017

State Attorney Aramis Ayala is accusing Gov. Scott of abusing his authority by ousting her as prosecutor in the case of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd.

In Stunning Move, State Attorney Ayala Won’t Pursue Death Sentences in Orange and Osceola

| March 16, 2017

Ayala’s decision infuriated Gov. Scott, Attorney General Bondi and police organizations, but drew praise from others who see the position more in line with a growing national trend by courts, some governors and legislatures.

Florida’s Lethal Injections Ready to Stab Again As Gov. Scott Signs Death Penalty Bill

| March 13, 2017

Florida is again poised to begin executions and prosecute death penalty cases after Gov. Rick Scott signed a law Monday aimed at fixing flaws in the state’s capital sentencing procedure.

Florida Senate Backs Unanimous Juries in Death Sentences

| March 9, 2017

Thursday’s Senate vote — on the third day of the 2017 legislative session — would ostensibly fix the weaknesses identified by the majority of the Florida Supreme Court with the current law.

Proposal to Require Unanimity from Florida Juries in Death Penalty Cases Advances

| February 6, 2017

But efforts to broaden the legislation to address other issues involved in a series of court rulings that prompted this year’s measure appear, at least for now, to be doomed.

Justice James E.C. Perry’s Last Dissent Denounces Florida’s Death Penalty

| December 23, 2016

Justice Justice James E.C. Perry in a blistering condemnation of the death penalty in general rendered a blistering analysis of the manner in which capital punishment is carried out in Florida.

Seizing on Orlando Murder Case, Justice Breyer Asks Court to “Reconsider Constitutionality of Death Penalty”

| December 13, 2016

Justice Stephen Breyer characterized the death penalty as cruel and unusual in light of the case of Henry Sireci, 68, who’s been on Florida’s Death Row for 40 years and has yet again been cleared for execution.

Revealed: Florida Stockpiling Lethal Injection Protocol Never Used Before, Inviting Litigation

| December 6, 2016

The new triple-drug cocktail would be the only one of its kind among the states that rely on similar procedures to kill prisoners, including a drug never used to that end before.

Florida’s Death Penalty Law in Disarray, Supreme Court Throws Out Yet More Sentences

| December 2, 2016

Signaling how it is likely to handle scores of Death Row cases, a majority of the Florida Supreme Court threw out death sentences and ordered a new penalty proceeding for a convicted triple-murderer.

In Saint Augustine, A Dead Priest Pleads for the Life of His Killer

| November 30, 2016

Father Rene Robert, who was murdered, signed the Declaration of Life in 1995: it is wrong for the state to take the life of a convicted criminal, no matter how vile the crime, and no matter how innocent the victim.

Florida’s Death Penalty On Hold: Supreme Court Halts Trial Pending Legislative Change

| October 28, 2016

The Florida Supreme Court on Friday stopped a Clearwater judge from proceeding with a death penalty case, signaling that courts might not be able to move forward with capital trials until the Legislature changes a law that justices earlier this month struck down as unconstitutional.

Florida Justices Overturn 42-Year-Old Death Sentence in “Black Revolutionary Army” Killing

| October 20, 2016

Jacob John Dougan, Jr., now 69, was convicted in the 1974 murder of Stephen Orlando, an 18-year-old white man, whose body was found in Jacksonville Beach accompanied by a note signed by the “Black Revolutionary Army.”

Florida Supreme Court in Seminal Decision Rules Death Penalty Verdicts Must Be Unanimous

| October 14, 2016

The court’s 5-2 decision, which will immediately affect 40 inmates and many of the 385 others on death row, ends Florida’s status as an outlier state where non-unanimous death penalty recommendations were allowed.

After Reaching Record Pace, Executions in Florida Are on Hold as Ruling Muddies Syringes

| September 30, 2016

Executions are on hold, judges across the state are postponing death penalty cases, and defense lawyers are seeking additional reviews in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in January that struck down Florida’s death-penalty sentencing process.

Palm Coast Offender Branded a Sexual Predator 5 Years After Prison, With No New Sex Crime

| July 1, 2016

The sheriff’s office announced Thursday that Dorian Buzz Coppedge, 37, a “sexual predator,” is now living in Flagler, yet he’s lived here five years. Only his designation changed, even though he committed no new sex crime.

South Florida Judge Declares State’s New Death Penalty Law Unconstitutional

| May 9, 2016

While the decision is not necessarily controlling in Flagler County and the rest of Florida, it again muddies the fate of a law barely eight weeks old, and further sheds a harsh light on Florida’s outlier system of executions.

Florida’s Death Penalty Alive and Willed as Guzman Is Sentenced to Die For 3rd Time in Daytona

| May 3, 2016

A jury in Daytona Beach today voted 11-1 to recommend death for James “Chico” Guzman in the hacking to death of David Colvin, 48, at a motel on Ridgewood Avenue on Aug. 10, 1991.

In Florida, Court Rules, a 55-Year Prison Sentence For a Juvenile Is Not a Life Term

| April 25, 2016

Anthony Julian Collins was two months shy of 17 when he was committed an attempted second-degree murder, carjacking with a firearm and attempted armed robbery.

Poll-Tax Redux: Millions Free From Jail Are Barred From Voting By Criminal Debt

| April 19, 2016

Debt from fines starts at sentencing and can grow at interest rates of 12 percent or more while inmates serve their sentences. It continues to grow after they’re released and face the numerous barriers to finding work and housing.

Supreme Court Halts Double Murderer James Asay’s Execution, 2nd Stay in 4 Weeks

| March 2, 2016

Hours after hearing arguments in the case, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday indefinitely postponed the execution of Mark James Asay, a convicted double murderer scheduled to die on March 17.

Too Many Questions Beg The Answer: End the Death Penalty in Florida

| February 24, 2016

Rick Scott shouldn’t plan on signing any more death warrants soon, if ever, argues Martin Dyckman, even as the Florida House “cured” what the U.S. Supreme Court specifically found wrong with Florida’s death penalty.

Florida Still Outlier as Death-Penalty Fix Falls Short of Requiring Unanimous Jury Verdicts

| February 19, 2016

The measure would require at least 10 jurors to recommend the death penalty for the sentence to be imposed and would empower juries to decide whether defendants should die or be imprisoned for life without the chance for parole.

Florida Supreme Court Halts Executions Indefinitely; 389 Death Row Inmates In Limbo

| February 2, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated Florida’s death-penalty sentencing scheme on Jan. 12, forcing the state to rewrite its law but also putting in question whether the new law must apply to all 489 death row inmates.

Florida Lawmakers Urged to Require Unanimous Verdicts in Death Penalty Cases

| January 28, 2016

Florida is the only state in the nation where a simple jury majority is enough for a death penalty recommendation, one of several problems at odds with a new U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida’s capital punishment system.

Lawyers for Condemned Florida Man Call for Halt To Execution in Light of “Tectonic Shift”

| January 22, 2016

Lawyers for Cary Michael Lambrix, who has been on Death Row for more than three decades, have asked the Florida Supreme Court to halt his execution in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring Florida’s court process unconstitutional in such cases.

U.S. Supreme Court Declares Florida’s Death Penalty Scheme Unconstitutional

| January 12, 2016

The United States Supreme Court, in an emphatic ruling Tuesday, declared Florida’s death penalty sentencing scheme to be a violation of the Sixth Amendment.

Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., To Be Killed Tonight, Is 23rd Execution on Gov. Scott’s Watch

| January 7, 2016

Bolin was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Teri Lynn Matthews, whose body was discovered on Dec. 5, 1986, near the side of a road in rural Pasco County.

Quadruple Murderer Jerry Correll Will be Executed as Florida Supreme Court Lifts Stay

| October 2, 2015

The unanimous decision issued today clears the execution by lethal injection. Correll murdered his wife, 5-year-old daughter, mother in law and her sister in Orlando in 1985.

Florida Supreme Court Refuses to Lift Stay on Execution of Jerry Correll, Who Contested Lethal Injection

| July 23, 2015

The Florida Supreme Court’s 5-2 decision turned down AG Pam Bondi’s request to let Gov. Scott set an executuon date, and ordered a hearing on Correll’s assertion that the drug poses a heightened risk to him because of his alleged brain damage and history of drug use.

Supreme Court’s Lethal Injection Ruling Clears Way For More Florida Executions, and Challenges

| June 29, 2015

In the 5-4 majority opinion issued Monday, Justice Alito wrote that the first of the three-drug lethal cocktail used also used in Florida, “entails a substantial risk of severe pain.”

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